Ah, Prague. A fairy-tale city with the charm of Paris but the prices of Eastern Europe, it’s a backpacker’s haven. From the buzz of the city, to the laid-back vibe of a hip neighbourhood, here’s how to find the best area to stay in Prague.
A mainstay on the European bucket list of travellers all around the world, Prague has all the elements of a perfect destination. Its bustling Old Town is made up of cobblestoned pedestrian-only streets, winding past beautiful old buildings steeped in history. The Prague Castle overlooks the city, offering up stunning views and a breathtaking cathedral, while the Charles Bridge is one of the most beautiful you’ll ever walk across.
The city is made up of ten numbered districts, spiralling out from the centre in a snail’s shape. Each has its own distinct vibe and personality, so you’ll feel at home no matter what you’re after. A lot of travellers stay in District 1, the Old Town and the centre of the action. It’s where you’ll find a lot of bars, clubs, and restaurants, always full of energy no matter the time of day. If you’ve come to Prague to party, this is definitely the district for you.
Venture a little further out and you’ll find the hip neighbourhoods that most of Prague’s locals call home. District 7 is where you’ll find a lot of artists, in a formerly industrial area which is now being filled with galleries, exhibition spaces, and cool clubs. If you want a more relaxed vibe, District 2 is a chilled, tree-lined neighbourhood with plenty of pubs, cafes, and green spaces. Meanwhile District 3 is full of students and young expats, with cheap eats and drinks. It’s great when you’re on a budget, and has one of the best sunset-watching spots in the city. Prague’s public transport system is quick and reliable – not to mention cheap – meaning you can be in the city centre in less than 20 minutes no matter where you stay.
If you’re a foodie, prepare to be in absolute heaven. Prague is a great place to sample the local Czech delicacies. You can’t leave without eating smažený sýr, fried cheese sold by many a street vendor. Meat-eaters must sample svíčková: sirloin steak boiled in veggies, thyme, and cream. Topped with cranberry sauce and whipped cream, it’s definitely a new taste experience. Of course there’s also goulash, the famous Central European meat stew. And while it might not be super traditional, on almost every street in the Old Town you’ll find people selling trdelník. It’s like chimney cake, filled with things like ice cream or warm Nutella. It’s one of those iconic Prague things that needs to be on your Czech-list.
Unless you’re hitting up the fine-dining restaurants or particularly classy bars, no meal will set you back more than £5, and if you stick to street food then it’ll be even cheaper. Pints of beer are about £1, and supermarket wine is an absolute steal for a couple of pounds a bottle.
Accommodation is similarly cheap, so the only hard part is figuring out where to actually stay while you’re there. Here’s our lowdown on the different districts to help you decide where to stay in Prague.
Jump straight to:
1. Old Town: The best place in Prague to party and sight-see
If you’re just in Prague for a couple of days and want to knock off all the main sights, then this is the place for you. The mainly pedestrian streets are always bustling no matter the time of day or night, and it’s a people-watcher’s paradise. Any hostel you choose to stay in will be in the centre of the action, never more than a street away from a bar or restaurant. Staying in Old Town, you won’t have to waste any time or money on public transport, as everything you’ll want to see is within walking distance. It is a super touristy district to stay in, which means it’s a little pricey compared to some outer districts. However, “pricey” by Prague standards is still well below what you’d be paying in other Western European cities.
If you’re coming to Prague to enjoy its notorious party scene, you’ll love the urban vibe of the city’s central district. It’s an architecture lover’s dream, with winding streets of amazing old buildings, squares, and churches. Spend your mornings getting a culture hit at all the main tourist sights, and while away the afternoon with drinks along the riverbanks. Then fill your nights with Czech food, cheap booze, and wild nightclubs.
What to do in Old Town
Start your day off with a free walking tour to orient yourself in the city. Most meet near the Powder Gate, and wind through the city’s maze of streets offering as much history and local knowledge that can be squeezed into two hours. You’ll no doubt visit Wenceslas Square, the famous Astronomical Clock, and the Jewish Quarter.
If it’s sunny, you can head down to the Naplavka River and rent a paddleboat for less than £10. Take some food or a couple of drinks and have a mini picnic while you’re floating on the water. If you’re feeling like relaxing more than paddling, take your pick of one of the many bars on boats docked at the banks.
Once you’ve had your fill of sightseeing, it’s time to let your hair down a little bit. If you’re a partier, you can’t miss a notorious Prague bar crawl. The Drunken Monkey is by far the most famous one, which offers two hours of unlimited drinks, and entry to three venues. Definitely don’t make any plans for early the next morning.
Not keen on a pub crawl but still want to sample the nightlife? Hit up Chapeau Rouge, a massive underground club that spans many levels and has more bars and dancefloors than you could count. The further down you go, the crazier it gets, and you’ll end up partying until dawn without even realising it.
It’ll cost you a lot more than a standard bar, but if your budget allows, check out Terasa U Prince for pre-drinks on a rooftop overlooking the city. It’s a great place to watch the sunset before moving onto a cheaper location.
If you’re not quite a night owl, you don’t have to miss out on the boozing. Prague has a great craft beer scene, and there are a number of daytime tours where you can sample the best brews on offer.
Places to eat in the Old Town
Foodies, you’re in luck. Prague has a dynamic food scene, with a ton of local and international options. Your first stop will be at one of the million stalls in the Old Town that sell trdelník: a cake cooked on a spit over charcoal, rolled in sugar, and filled with molten chocolate or ice cream. Perfect on a chilly Prague day.
Don’t leave without trying Czech cuisine, especially chlebíčky (pronounced kle-bish-kee) which are open-faced sandwiches with toppings like meat, egg, veggies, and cheese. You can pick them up from any deli, but Ovocný Světozor and Sisters have some of the best in the city. Both are near parks, so if you’re travelling solo grab some sandwiches to go and eat al fresco.
Lokál is a great spot for local food – be sure to order the iconic dish svíčková. Other great options are the pork knuckle or schnitzel, and you can’t go wrong with a hearty bowl of goulash. Definitely prepare to eat a lot of meat and bread while you’re here!
If you want a break from Czech food, the outskirts of the Old Town are home to some great Vietnamese restaurants. Prague has a reasonably big Vietnamese community, so restaurants like Bistro Pho Viet Nam (hidden behind a sliding door inside a mini-market) are legit and dirt-cheap.
Need a coffee to get going in the morning? While the Czech Republic mighn’t be known for their great coffee, there are still a bunch of places where you can get your fix. EMA Espresso bar is worth a visit, and onesip is cozy and serves a great brew. Your wallet will be pleased, as no coffee should set you back more than £2.
Best hostels in Old Town
The Old Town has hostels a-plenty, it’s just up to you what vibe you’re after. The standard in Prague is high, and your money will take you far. There are a bunch of party hostels which will guarantee you a fun time in the city, whether you’re in a group or travelling solo. If you’re past the partying stage of your life, you can pick from heaps of cozy, homey hostels that make a great base for meeting people and exploring the city.
The Roadhouse is probably one of the best hostels in the world, let alone Prague. It’s ideal for solo travellers, as their huge common room and daily events will have you making friends in no time. It’s brand new and spotlessly clean, and every night they have a huge family dinner with seriously delicious food. If you’re after more of a party vibe, check out their sister hostel The Madhouse.
Travellers who want to take it easy and chill out will love ArtHole Hostel. Visitors have described it as having a “cocooning atmosphere” – you’ll feel right at home the second you walk in the door. The walls are covered with art and the prices are low considering the location. It’s a great place to meet fellow travellers, over the nightly group dinner or in the comfy common room with €1 beers.
If you’re all about aesthetics, then you’re going to want to check out Dream Hostel. With interiors that look like they belong on a Pinterest board, they’ve got spaces to relax as well as desks and areas for travelling freelancers. It’s brand new, and located a little out of the centre of Old Town, so it’s not crazy busy the second you step outside.
2. Mala Strana: The best area in Prague for history and culture
Mala Strana, which literally translates to “little quarter”, is still technically part of the Old Town district. It’s on the other side of the river, just across the Charles Bridge, and is a much more quiet part of town without being too removed from everything. It’s probably exactly what you think of when you hear Prague, more charming and romantic than other parts of the city.
The streets are emptier, especially in the mornings and early evenings. You’ll find calm pubs and cafes instead of crazy clubs, and a lot less tour groups blocking the streets. It’s like staying in a small village, with cobblestoned streets and small squares around almost every corner.
Mala Strana is home to Prague Castle, and the hills that offer amazing views of the city once you hike your way to the top. It’s ideal if you’re visiting Prague as a couple and want a more traditional trip to the city, focusing on culture rather than parties. Restaurants here still carry the slightly higher price tag that comes with staying in the Prague 1 district, but you’re walking distance to other neighbourhoods if you want to get a more local feel.
What to do in Mala Strana
Your first stop should be the Charles Bridge, which connects you to the centre of the Old Town. If you’re an early bird, try to visit the bridge just after sunrise. You’ll get to experience it on your own without being surrounded by the selfie-stick wielding tourists that swarm the bridge from morning to night.
Afterwards, head up to Prague Castle which opens at 6am. That sounds pretty damn early, but if you’re there before 8am you’ll be able to photograph the amazing structures without any people around. It’s worth it, especially if you take yourself out for a nice breakfast afterwards as a reward for your early wake-up. The castle complex is free to enter, but you’ll have to pay to get into some of the buildings which open at 9am.
To get an epic view of Prague, scale Petrin Hill just behind Mala Strana. You can hike to the top in about 30 minutes, or hop on the funicular (cable car) and zoom up. Pick up some snacks at a local deli (lahůdky) and sit up there at sunset for a truly memorable experience.
Also in Mala Strana is the John Lennon wall, a mural of the singer’s face where people from all around the world come to write messages of peace. They have to repaint it every year to make space, and it’s a pretty breathtaking experience to read the hopes and dreams of strangers.
For a great photo op of the Vltava river, head to Náplavka where you’ll find a huge herd of swans just chilling by the banks. There aren’t usually too many people there, so it can be a nice place to chill for a little. If that’s not enough wildlife for you, check out Wallenstein Gardens just up the hill. It’s a beautiful green complex, with Baroque buildings and manicured lawns. Keep your eyes out for the peacocks who call the garden home, just strolling around and showing off their feathers.
Places to eat in Mala Strana
Mala Strana really comes alive at night. With family-run restaurants, plenty of bars, and some mouth-watering dessert shops, you’re really spoiled for choice.
To get a taste of the local Czech cuisine, you can’t miss U Magistra Kelly. The menu is filled with authentic dishes like pork knuckle, pierogi, and fried cheese, plus they’ve got good selections for vegan and gluten-free diners. You can get a big bowl of goulash and a beer for less than £6. If you can’t get enough of the food, a similar spot nearby for local dishes is U Glaubiců
For a lively vibe, Kolkovna is a pub where you can get some great beers and the Czech version of pub food. Each day they have a new dish on offer, but expect huge portions and a lot of meat.
Roesel is the perfect place to go when you’re a little peckish. It’s a true hidden gem, tucked in a little alley near the Charles Bridge. They have an extensive menu of great craft beers, and serve them up with slices of cake or platters of bread and sausages. Make sure you go on your first day there, as you’ll surely want to keep going back.
If you’re visiting in summer, you can’t go past an ice cream from Angelato. The line might be long but it moves fast, and it’s worth it for some of the best gelato in the city. It’s located at the bottom of Petrin Hill, a great reward after a hike.
Best hostels in Mala Strana
You won’t find as many party hostels here as you will across the bridge in the Old Town. Instead, the hostels are cozy and friendly, a little more chilled out to match the vibe of the quaint streets they’re set on.
Every backpacker knows there’s nothing better than a free breakfast. You’ll get just that at Hostel Santini, an ideal place for a solo traveller who wants to be social without having to stay in a party hostel. They have nightly pub crawls, but quiet, clean rooms set in a beautiful old Baroque building.
If you’re in town for a short time and just want to see the sights on offer, the Little Quarter Hostel is in the perfect location, and even has a view of the Castle from some of the rooms. The rooms are big with giant storage lockers (win!), and some have an ensuite shower. There’s a bar downstairs which is the perfect way to wind down after a day of zooming around the city seeing the sights.
Adam and Eva hostel is one of those places that feels so homey and welcoming, you’ll never want to leave. It’s close to bars and clubs, but is always quiet and relaxed so you’re sure to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, their kitchen has a dishwasher so you don’t have to do the washing up!
3. Vinohrady: The best area in Prague to live like a local
Vinohrady, aka Prague 2, is the district just outside the Old Town to the south. It’s walking distance to all the major tourist attractions, and well connected by trams and the metro. The streets here are wide and tree-lined, with the vibe of an inner-city neighbourhood. It’s the trendy suburb where locals want to live, and is filled with young families and professionals. The district is named after the many vineyards that covered the area in the 14th century, a few of which still remain today.
This district is perfect if you’re keen to get more of a local feel for the city, while still remaining close to the bucket-list sights Old Town has to offer. The prices are a little cheaper than what you’ll find in Prague 1, without having to sacrifice too much on location. If you’re happy walking you can even get by without having to fork out for public transport, as most places you’d want to visit are within a 30-minute stroll.
Coffee-lovers will rejoice in the number of amazing cafes you can find in Vinohrady, some of the best in Prague. You won’t go hungry here, with a bunch of great restaurants and local farmers’ markets. Vinohrady is also the place to come for a LGBT+ friendly bar scene, with a number of gay clubs that go off until the early hours of the morning.
What to do in Vinohrady
If you’re staying in a district named after vineyards, you’d be crazy not to visit one and sample some local wine. Head to Havlíčkovy sady park where you’ll find the picturesque vineyards and a restaurant/wine cellar where you can order a glass (or five). The rest of the park is also a great place to just chill out and take a break from a busy sightseeing schedule. If you’re more into beer than wine, Vinohrady’s other park, Riegrovy Sady, has a big beer garden open in summer, where you can sit in the sun and enjoy a sausage and pint of local beer.
If you’re lucky enough to be in town during Easter or Christmas, there are some great seasonal markets at Náměstí Miru and Tylovo Náměstí. You can pick up cute locally-made trinkets, and be sure to get a cup of the mulled wine which really hits the spot in winter.
Spend a night out on Vinohradská street, the closest thing you’ll find in Prague to a gay nightlife district. Start at Celebrity Cafe or Saints Bar, then dance all night at Termix as they play all your favourite pop anthems.
On a Sunday morning, Vinohrady’s cafes and eateries fill up with people enjoying a long brunch. Join the locals at any place that takes your fancy – you really can’t go wrong. There are a ton in the area surrounding the square Náměstí Míru.
Places to eat in Vinohrady
For authentic Czech food on a budget, head to U Sadu, a divey-type restaurant frequented by locals and foreigners that serves up hearty meals and cheap drinks. Ask your waiter for their favourite Czech dish and you’ll be sure to eat something delicious.
For a full gastronomic experience, Vinohradský Pivovar is the place for you. It’s a microbrewery with a seriously delicious IPA, as well as other beers, ciders, and wine. For a place so fixated on beer, their menu is surprisingly solid, with a great choice of local cuisine. The generous portions give you bang for your buck – definitely try the duck leg or deer goulash if you’re feeling adventurous.
For a low-cost meal, hit up the farmers’ market in Jiřího z Poděbrad Square (shortened to JZP by non-Czech locals who can’t pronounce the name) on Wednesdays to Saturdays. They have food stalls, as well as stands selling fresh produce which you can take back to your hostel and make a home-cooked meal. Keep an eye out for the square’s modern church which a lot of locals think is ugly!
Strolling around the streets of Vinohrady, you’ll no doubt stumble on a number of cafes that will draw you in with that enticing smell of freshly-brewed coffee. Keep an eye out for Pražírna, a bustling spot popular with locals that serves some of the best coffee in Prague. Coffee room take their java very seriously, with espresso and filter options available, as well as hand- or batch-brew. Nab a slice of their famous banana bread while you’re there, served with homemade peanut butter. Another option is Mama coffee, a cozy chain with great coffee and delicious breakfast. Their vegan pancakes are out of this world.
Best hostels in Vinohrady
Just like the district itself, Vinohrady’s hostels are friendly and homey. They’re all close to food and bars, and the tram line running through the centre makes it easy to get everywhere.
Czech Inn hostel scores major points for its punny name, but is also a great option for travellers on a budget. It’s in a charming old building but has a modern interior, and a brick-walled basement bar. Their daily walking tours and nightly happy hour make meeting people a breeze, whether you’re travelling with friends or flying solo.
If you’re in Prague to meet people and make friends, Hostel One Miru is the place to be. It’s brand-new and super modern, and actually looks pretty damn luxe for a hostel. With a nightly family dinner, a cozy lounge room with Netflix, and multiple activities every day, you’ll have a whole new crew in no time. The price is a little higher than other hostels in the area, but every review claims it’s totally worth it for the experience.
It’s not often that you’ll stay in a hostel with a pet, so if you’re a cat-lover then you must stay at Post Hostel. As well as the cute ginger kitty, they serve a free breakfast and have events like quiz night, sunset drinks, and pub crawls on offer. It’s got a truly great atmosphere, with some of the friendliest staff you could ask for – you’ll feel at home right away.
4. Žižkov: The best area in Prague to have fun on a budget
Žižkov, Prague 3, is arguably one of the most cool neighbourhoods in the city. It’s a combination of two separate areas: one more sophisticated, with upmarket bars and trendy eateries. The other, inhabited mainly by students, is relaxed and unassuming, with budget-friendly cafes and dive bars. To stick to the cheaper end of the district, keep north, away from the Jiřího z Poděbrad metro station and closer to Vitkov Park.
Still fairly close to Old Town, Žižkov will give you an authentic feel of Prague as a city, as there aren’t too many tourists around. There are a lot of local food options, but also quite a few international options as the district has a big expat community.
If you’re a night owl, you’re in luck. Žižkov is said to have the highest number of bars per capita of any neighbourhood in Europe. You’ve got 300 to choose from, so maybe a bar crawl is on the cards.
It’s not the most scenic or beautiful district in the city, but it oozes character and life. If you’re keen to get away from the tourist-geared main areas of the city, Žižkov is for you.
What to do in Žižkov
With plenty of parks, cafes, boutiques, and cute streets, it’s a good neighbourhood for walkers. Lace up your comfy shoes and just wander the sidewalks for a few hours. You’ll be sure to find some great hidden gems down alleyways and quiet side streets. Small art galleries, quirky cafes, and delicious hole-in-the-wall food spots abound in Žižkov. Keep an eye out for the Palac Akropolis on your wanders. It’s a striking, colourful old building, used as a multipurpose space for concerts, performances, exhibitions, and has a bar and cafe inside. Just admiring it from the outside is a real treat, but also be sure to check online what’s going on there during your stay.
The district is home to one of the best parks in Prague for watching the sunset. Riegrovy Sady has stunning views, and is the ideal spot for a summer evening picnic. Head to their giant beer garden and treat yourself to a few cheap drinks as the sun goes down. Or BYO and find the sloped clearing near the sports field that has views of the city. Just look for all the locals spread out on picnic blankets and stake yourself out a good spot.
For an unforgettable view over Prague, head up to the observatory floor of the city’s TV Tower. The ticket will set you back £8.50 but on a clear day you’ll get sweeping views from nearly 100 metres above the ground. While the views are stunning, the building itself was voted second-ugliest in the world, so even if you don’t go up you should check it out for yourself. From December to March, you’ll find an ice-skating rink at the base.
It’s not for everyone, but the city’s largest cemetery, Olsany, is right on the edge of Žižkov. It’s a beautiful shady park, with crumbling headstones and ivy-covered crypts. The ground is usually carpeted with fallen leaves, and the trees block out the city’s sound and light, so it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of Prague. If you’ve got a penchant for all things spooky and eerie, you’ll be instantly enamoured.
View from TV Tower
Places to eat in Žižkov
Žižkov is absolutely jam-packed with great, cheap food spots. Wandering around the north part of the district you’ll find bistros and takeaway spots galore. For cheap local food, U Slovanské Lípy can’t be missed. As well as a menu of classic local dishes all under £5, you can get beers from local microbreweries on tap. Open ‘til midnight, it’s a great place to come soak up a night of drinking.
You can hardly walk down a street in Europe without coming across a bakery, and you’ll be able to smell the Antoninovo bakery from well down the block. Their huge selection of cakes and bread are all baked fresh on the premises, using the same techniques as they were hundreds of years ago. Try some chlebíčky – traditional Czech open-faced sandwiches.
For brunch or coffee, Žižkavárna Cafe is a cozy spot to spend a few hours. Some people say it’s got the best breakfast in Prague, so you’d better stop in and try it for yourself. Foodies swear by their giant omelettes, and their coffee is pretty top-notch as well.
Once you’ve lined your stomach, be prepared to do some drinking in Žižkov. From friendly pubs to local dives, trendy bars, and hip clubs, you’ll want to stay for two weeks just so you can visit them all.
If you’re after a cheap, local night out, try U Kurelů. With fairy lights, beer for less than a quid, and a good dirty burger menu, you’ll be set for a whole night. If you’re after something simple, Pivo a párek offer up two things: beer and sausages. In the winter months, you’ll be drawn to the dark and inviting U Vystřelenýho oka, with a fireplace in the corner and a lively crowd of locals.
For cocktails in a shabby chic, almost vintage setting, swing by Bukowski’s Bar, then hit up Malkovich for their famously unique drink list. A stay in Žižkov is not complete without a visit to Jah Koko and Kenny’s Island Music Club, a bar by day and a live music venue by night. Their comfy sofas and fun-as-hell atmosphere are topped only by their very reasonably-priced drinks.
Best hostels in Žižkov
The majority of hostels in Žižkov are geared toward a younger crowd who want to make the most of the district’s nightlife. Most are in the northern part of the area, near the cheap pubs and the city’s main train station.
Solo travellers will love Hostel Elf, with a huge communal area outdoor terrace that’s perfect for chill drinks in summer. They host a BBQ three times a week, and also offer free breakfast so you’ll be able to save quite a bit of coin. The outdoor section is totally covered in art and murals done by previous travellers, so if you have a bit of flair with a paintbrush, you can leave your mark on the hostel!
If you like a certain level of comfort on your trip, Hostel One is the place to be. Their staff will go out of their way to help you with anything from directions to recommendations, and are always keen to come out partying with you. The hostel was originally an apartment complex so it’s spacious and modern, with an elevator. The common room has a Nintendo, and there’s a bar and outdoor terrace you can make the most of.
Brix Hostel is one of the cheapest in the district, with beds for £9 a night. But it’s not a case of “you get what you pay for”: it’s comfortable, clean, and has great facilities. As well as a bar, and huge lounge, the hostel also has an event space and often hosts local bands or exhibits work from local artists.
5. Letná/Holešovice: The best place in Prague to hang with hipsters
Prague 7 is made up of the neighbourhoods Letná and Holešovice (pronounced ho-leh-sho-vit-zah), across the river from most other districts we’ve mentioned. Letná is trendy and has more shops and restaurants, while Holešovice has a raw, gritty vibe with great coffee and cool nightlife. The district isn’t walking distance to Old Town, but the trams are frequent and will get you there in less than 20 minutes. Not that you’ll need to ever leave: there is so much here to fill your days.
This formerly industrial neighbourhood is made up of warehouses and factories that are slowly being transformed into art spaces, performance venues, and bars. You won’t find many tourists here, it’s an area for the city’s young creatives. This is the perfect location for travellers who want to throw themselves into the city, and experience it as the locals do.
It’s a little sleepy in the mornings, walking around the quiet streets before midday you might find only cafes open for business. Once you’ve filled up on breakfast and coffee, the shops will have started to open. Expect grungy vintage stores, record shops selling music you’ve never heard of, and boutiques filled with pieces from local artists. If you have a bit of time in Prague, and like taking it easy then you’ll fit right in here.
Letná Park perches on top of a hill next to the river, and is always filled with people enjoying the panoramic views of the Old Town and Prague Castle. The beer garden up there is well worth a visit, even in winter, so long as you get a cup of hot apple cider to warm you up.
What to do in Letná/Holešovice
This is definitely a neighborhood made for exploring on foot. It’s pretty long, with hills at the Letná end, so maybe tackle a different section each day.
Start your morning in Holešovice with a cup of coffee and breakfast – there are a number of great places here serving up Western breakfasts, catering to the young population who love brunch culture. So if you can’t live without your avo and eggs on toast, no worries. Phill’s Corner have great open sandwiches and chia puddings.
There is some amazing street art to check out in the area, especially down around the Vltavská metro station. Walk down Komunardů street, grab a coffee to go from one of the many cool cafes, and have a wander. Then head back up Bubenská where you’ll find a number of cute little side streets to explore. Keep your eyes up, the architecture here is an eclectic mix of grand 19th-century buildings, modern structures, and 100-year-old tenement houses.
If you’re into art, you can spend days checking out the neighbourhood’s galleries. DOX Center is a refurbished factory that showcases some seriously epic modern art. There are usually a number of exhibitions, with sculpture, photography, architecture, and occasional talks and performances. Veletržní Palác, near the river, houses European art from the last 100 years, including pieces by Van Gogh, Monet, and Toulouse-Lautrec. For something really unique, Jatka 78 is a theatre space for alternative performance. You can see contemporary circus acts here regularly, as well as puppet theatre and dance. The Chemistry Gallery exhibits young Czech artists, focusing on nurturing their talents and exploring new trends and concepts. It’s a really interesting collection to check out if you’re keen on modern art.
If you’ve got room left in your backpack, Letná is a great area for a spot of shopping. You can find a ton of small shops by walking down Veverkova Street. Be sure to stop in at Page Five, a bookshop and tiny publishing house, and Recycle With Love, a funky vintage store. Fill your stomach or recaffeinate at either Bistro 8, or Cafe Jedna – both have great interiors and serve delicious fresh food.
If you prefer browsing through markets, Vnitroblock is a huge space with pop-up stalls by Czech designers. This old factory hall also houses a cafe with occasional live DJs and exhibitions.
Spend an evening at Letná Park, where you can chill in the beer garden and watch the sun set over the city, turning all the tiled roofs and church spires golden. Then, if you’re a party animal, check out Cross Club, an infamous nightclub in the heart of the district. There really are no words to describe it, but it’s surely like nowhere else you’ve ever been. The design is the definition of “alternative”, a mix of steampunk, art deco, and futuristic. With multiple bars over different levels, and cheap drinks and food, you can spend an entire night here and just want to keep coming back.
Image by Tomas Dratnal
Places to eat in Letná/Holešovice
These neighbourhoods are teeming with great food options, most of which are super friendly on your wallet.
You’ll have to have at least one long, lazy brunch while you’re here. Phill’s Corner have a great selection of light meals (their egg and salmon open sandwich is a must-try), and the coffee is a step above what you’ll find in most of Prague’s cafes. If you’re after something heartier, Bistro 8 has eggs, sandwiches, and smoothies galore. Similarly, Farm Cafe have all your brunch faves on offer, with gluten-free, paleo, and vegan options. An acai bowl for £4.50? Yes please. And for a great coffee in a super-cute cafe, check out Cafe Letka near Letná Park. It’s extremely Insta-story worthy!
For something totally different, you have to stop by Bitcoin Coffee. They don’t accept cash or cards – only bitcoin! If you have no idea how to get the cryptocurrency or even what it really is, don’t stress. They have a machine that’ll help you transfer your money, and the staff are more than happy to help. It’s a bit of a novelty, but the coffee is surprisingly good and their cakes and sandwiches really hit the spot. The Wi-Fi is great, and a lot of customers use the cafe as a working space, so if you’re travelling solo it might be a good spot to chill and recharge for a few hours.
For a taste of Czech food, Lokál is a chain restaurant you’ll find in a few places around the city. It’s a little touristy, but don’t let that stop you. It’s a great place to try local meals, because you can ask the English-speaking waiters for help deciding what to order. The most authentic Czech dish has to be svíčková, steak in a creamy, veggie sauce. It’s delicious and every meat-eater who visits Prague must add it to their list.
There’s street food and takeaway joints on practically every corner on the main road, so have a wander down Horakove and see what takes your fancy. When it’s time for drinks, you’ll be equally spoiled for choice. Cobra is a hip spot for great cocktails, housed in a former seedy casino. Kavárna Liberál is a cafe by day, and at night becomes a pub with an incredible atmosphere. Locals of all ages call themselves regulars, it’s a bit of a neighbourhood institution. If you need a night away from bars, Bio Oko is a hipster cinema, complete with beanbags and lounge chairs, showing arthouse and cult films, either in English or with subtitles.
Best hostels in Letná/Holešovice
Prague 7 doesn’t have quite as many hostel options as the other districts near Old Town, but the ones on offer are stellar. Plus their price tags are way friendlier!
Nestled in the middle of Holešovice, Sir Toby’s Hostel is in the perfect location. It’s right by some of the best cafes and bars, but is also super close to transport to get to other parts of the city. With garden BBQs, a cozy pub, events like trivia and beer tasting, and bike rentals, it’s really got everything you need and more. The triple-decker bunk beds are in impressively clean and modern dorm rooms.
If you need to save some cash, then PLUS Prague is a godsend: the dorm rooms start from £4 a night in the off-season. The facilities here are amazing – a gym, pool, restaurant, laundry, and even a female-only space. It’s ideal if you’re travelling with mates, as the lack of common room and kitchen makes it hard to meet people. But if you just need a base to come back to at night, then this is the spot for you.
Prague is a huge city, with so many different options and places to discover. We hope this guide has helped you discover the perfect neighbourhood for your stay. One thing’s for sure: one trip here won’t be enough! Even if you spend a week in the city, you’ll be clamouring to come back and check out even more. Let us know in the comments if you’ve stayed in one of these neighbourhoods, we’d love to hear your insider tips and recommendations that other backpackers shouldn’t miss. Enjoy Prague!
The pool at PLUS Prague
About the author
Jemima Skelley is an Australian travel writer currently exploring Europe. Believes that the best way to discover a country is through their food, and is always on the hunt for a good coffee spot. Follow her on instagram and twitter @jemimaskelley.